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Unpublished Paper
Negotiating Housing Recovery in Post-Earthquake Urban Kutch, India
  • Anuradha Mukherji, East Carolina University
The 2001 Kutch earthquake, in Gujarat state in western India, destroyed 230,000 houses and damaged another 1 million. In Bhuj and Bachhau, urban centers close to the epicenter of the earthquake, single-family houses, squatter settlements, and high-rise apartments were destroyed, and public and private housing reconstruction programs were introduced to help communities rebuild their houses. However, five years after the disaster, in spite of interventions by local and global, public and private entities, many communities in both towns continued to struggle towards housing recovery. This dissertation examines why some communities were able to rebuild and improve their overall housing conditions after the disaster, as opposed to others who struggled to achieve even pre-disaster housing standards. The research is based primarily on 50 in-depth field interviews conducted with 38 caste-based communities in Bhuj and Bachhau. Communities were identified based on their caste because field observations showed that rather than spatial proximity, households in both towns define their sense of group and community identity based on their caste affiliation. The research is designed as a comparative study around three components. The first two components examine the impact of World Bank funding, government policies, NGO interventions, and community resources on final housing recovery outcomes in both towns. The third uses the findings from the first two to compare and contrast the housing recovery process and outcomes between Bhuj and Bachhau for homeowners, renters, and squatters. Study findings show that the key reason why some communities could rebuild in Bhuj and Bachhau while others struggled to recover is due to the difference in availability of appropriate public assistance that matched community needs and capacities. The research also demonstrates that while social capital theory can help conceptualize community-based recovery efforts, it is also important to consider how social capital is produced because the socio-economic capacities of communities impact their ability to produce and use social capital after disasters. The study expects to contribute to future public policy debates on post-disaster housing recovery, in India and beyond, by providing a deeper understanding of the impact of public programs, private interventions, and community initiatives on housing recovery outcomes
  • Disaster,
  • Housing,
  • Recovery,
  • Policy,
  • India
Publication Date
Citation Information
Anuradha Mukherji. "Negotiating Housing Recovery in Post-Earthquake Urban Kutch, India" (2008)
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